Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: The Most Epic Celebration of All Time
When in Manila, the Mall of Asia Arena was humming with anticipation on the night of March 16, 2014. A crowd six thousand fans strong gathered to witness a moment that will go down in history as “the most epic celebration of all time.” As the crowd waited, the lights went off and we all knew—we were about to be a part of The Heist, courtesy of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
Those Damn Nerds started the party with a quick set. Then it was up to DJ Mars Miranda to carry the crowd over before he passed it on to the opening act–Fil Am rappers Prometheus Brown and Bamboo, hand-picked by Macklemore to get the crowd up and pumped. “If you haven’t been to a rap concert like this before,” says Prometheus, “just put your kili-kili up!” With cheeky songs dedicated to Rashida Jones and a dedication to the tita they loved a little too much, the Bar handed the crowd right over to the men of the hour.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
The party really started when Macklemore opened with “10,000 Hours”, one of our favourite tracks from The Heist. With all hands, camera phones and in the air, it was almost impossible to see the man jumping up and down the stage. He was pumped, we were ready. He also revealed that this was not the first time that he’s been to Manila. “I came here when I was 19 because I didn’t get into school. I came here to travel. I would never have dreamed that I would be back here performing for all six thousand of you!” He’s even spending his three days off here in Manila before he heads to Austrailia and Japan.
We thought that the arena would shake when this song came on. With a flash of fireworks and an all too-familiar opening line (hey Macklemore, can we go thrift shopping?) everyone started jumping along to our ukay-ukay anthem, “Thrift Shop.” There was not a silent soul in the room, everyone basically sang along to the whole song. Macklemore was impressed. “Wow. That was probably the best singing voices we’ve ever had!”
Interestingly enough, that was not the first time we heard that.
As the concert continued, the audiences seemed more determined to make this a night to remember. There was not a dry eye in the room as hands went up for “Same Love” and “Wings,” two of Macklemore’s songs that pack the punch when it comes to heart. “I miss drinking whiskey and singing karaoke in Manila,” he noted, “but if I wasn’t sober, I wouldn’t be able to stand here tonight with all of you.”
For us, we had only two hopes for The Heist. One, we wanted to see was Macklemore in a cowboy outfit, ala Mac Jackson in “White Walls” and see our favourite tune “And We Danced” live on stage. Wish granted, and more. The cowboy outfit was Mexican-inspired and fabulous, and Mac even put on a long wig and aviators for “And We Danced.” We had died and gone to Heist heaven.
If “Thrift Shop” had the arena shaking, it was “Can’t Hold Us” that brought the house down. So much so that they had to sing it…twice. And it was amazing! Everyone was singing and jumping along, Macklemore surfed the crowd (and nearly got his shirt ripped off!) and switched up the lyrics a bit. “And they can’t tell me nothin’, give it to Manila, spread it all around the world!” Confetti flew through the air and the Philippine flag (featured on a previous song, “Irish Celebration”), danced in the background as everyone simply lost their voices.
When the night closed and Macklemore told us how he couldn’t wait to come back, When in Manila was still pumped. Until next time!